Travel Journal Vol. 2
Sintra, Europe's end and Hell's Mouth
Author: Łukasz Lenczyk
Portugal's crown jewel - that's how they describe Sintra, and it's no idle talk.
It's a unique, small city, situated north-west of Lisbon.
Mountainous landscape and low hanging clouds give the city a unique atmosphere. A stroll among the narrow streets, surrounded by many houses decorated with colourful mosaics, led us to Quinta da Regaleira - a beautiful park. Upon seeing it, the memory of the barcelonian Guell park immediately springs to mind. Espadrilles performed brilliantly in these conditions. Not just them - linen proved it's worth as well.
Cabo da Roca, the point situated on the extreme west of continental Europe, is really close to Sintra. Cliffs drag on to the south, along the shore, and lead to an unusual rock formation - Boca do Inferno - Hell's Mouth.
Lisbon and portugese sun, saudade and Fado
A trip to Portugal would not be complete without paying a visit to it's beautiful capital. After we crossed the river Tag by ferry (turned out to be quicker and cheaper than using one of the two big bridges), we headed straight to the picturesque Bairro Alto. Despite the early hour, Lisbon greeted us with strong sunlight, however we didn't come here unprepared. It's good to wear what you enjoy, even when the mercury rises. My comfort was ensured by silk and linen.
Every corner of the place looks like a postcard view. We spent all day strolling along the narrow, steep streets, enjoying the views and peeking into the life of natives. You just forget about everyday hustle in a place like this. No one disturbs anyone here, everything goes on according to it's own tempo.
Right beside the St. Dominic church, which amazed us greatly, we made a stop for a must-have glass of Ginjiha. Tasted much better than I remembered it from the few years back. That was today's aperitif.
The sun came lower and lower, as we apporached Alfama. We took a short break to rest a bit before the evening. Santa Pausa, for that was the name of the tavern where we nearly fell of the stairs, fit perfectly into the mood of the day.
Wine, cheese and coffee aren't expensive here - so we were informed by a Lisbonese friend of ours - that's something the Portugese cannot go without. A lot can happen, but if these goods get more expensive, the country will riot - she added jokingly. Ending our meal, we started hearing the first sounds of the Fado district. That's how our day ended.